Legal Drinking Age
Legality of drinking and purchase of alcoholic beverages has been a controversial topic in many nations. The cognitive development aspect of children coming to play causing diverse views on maturity of a person both in reasoning and psychological well-being. This has led to different countries having a minimum legal drinking age (MLDA). However, MLDA differs for example, the United States has it at 21 years, Denmark with no rule only for purchase of alcohol at 16 years. others have the MLDA at 18 years to as high as 25 years. the question arises as to how this rule ensure no teen drinking. Unfortunately, the setting of MLDA has not reduced the consumption of alcohol among the teenagers the problem being the measurement of maturity by age.
Nonetheless, it would be justifiable to limit access to alcoholic beverages through age since human growth and development both physical and mentally is relative to age. For instance, alcoholic drinks act as stimulant and depressants yielding dysfunctional growth of still developing cells in a young person. Due to naivety at a tender age, consumption of such drinks would adversely lead to engagement in other criminal activities resulting from alcohol influence. For example, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimate that 90% of sexual harassments in college students occur under alcoholic influence of the assailant. Additionally, alcoholism is major cause of accidents in countries.
Moreover, drinking alcohol often involve use of other illegal substances and drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and others that affect brain functionality. These drugs also become addictive hence, disorientating normal functionality of an individual. Therefore, having no legal drinking age presents a loophole for the destruction of the future generation. Essentially, involvement of a teenager in addictive substances and alcohol reflects on his adulthood life as this person will have the same behavior.
Legality in liquor drinks consumption serves to guard the interests of the people and the country at large. Every society coherently exist through imposition of rules that are meant to bring out the best of every individual. Thus, legality is a way to prevent crime prevalence and mitigate against delinquency behaviors among the youth that would be enhanced through alcoholism.
Detrimental issues also arise as not to have a set limit age for drinking alcohol. First, many adolescents engage in alcoholism and use of substances way before they attain the legal age. The environmental factors through symbolic interactionism as explained by sociologist play key to understanding behaviorism. Peer pressure and history of alcoholism initiates children to drinking. In this case, having a legal age for liquor intake would not have any effect on the rate of consumption of such beverages.
Secondly, the freedom to enjoy oneself or handle his life as it pleases him should be a right left for the individual to decide so long as the right does not infringe on others’ freedoms. Having MLDA should not be a factor of controlling alcoholism but rather consequences of indulging in harmful activities after such inducement should be the issue. Basically, there is no point of denying a teenager alcohol yet he takes at home and does not cause any harm. Youngsters should have a right to enjoy their lives and setting a limit on age drinking inhibits this right.
Lastly, restriction of alcohol creates illegal demand for such a commodity. On the other hand, making it accessible makes it less appealing leading to responsible drinking. Therefore, having a legal age is necessary condition to regulating teenage consumption of liquor but it is never sufficient to hinder them from actually accessing and drinking alcohol. Effective measures should be employed to ensure its viability in relation to the rate of alcohol consumption among the underage.
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